2014 WINNER

 

Dina Goldstein

Born in 1969, canadian nationality, lives in Vancouver

www.dinagoldstein.com

 

I am a Canadian photographer and Pop Surrealist with a background in editorial photography.  For me, photography is intended not to produce an esthetic that echoes current beauty standards, but to evoke and wrest feelings of shame, anger, shock and empathy from the observer so as to inspire insight into the human condition.

 

I have always felt that my experience as a documentary photographer complements my conceptual photography — they inform each other technically and creatively.  From my more candid work, I have learned that spontaneity and a lack of control are sources of inspiration. This has inspired trust in my instincts to nurture the most fleeting of concepts. For example, my Fallen Princesses series was born out of deep personal pain, when I raged against the “happily ever after” motif we are spoon fed since childhood. The series created metaphor out of the myths of fairy tales, forcing the viewer to contemplate real life: failed dreams, pollution and ocean degradation, war, obesity, the extinction of indigenous cultures, cancer and the fallacy of chasing eternal youth.  By embracing the textures and colors created by Walt Disney, which built a multi-billion dollar empire exploiting these fairy tales, Fallen Princesses exposed the consumerism that has negated the morality of these ancient parables. It also begged the question, “how do we define the concept of ‘good’ and how do we live a ‘good’ life?”

 

My most recent work is a sequential narrative that unfolds within a ten part series.  ‘In the Dollhouse’, has, as Fallen Princesses did, sparked an international response.  This time, I have taken on one of the most powerful symbols of Western culture: Barbie, the idealized woman. More than any other childhood construct, Barbie represents the concept that Beauty is Power and necessary to attain Happiness. However, when Ken, Barbie’s handsome but emasculated boyfriend, expresses his individuality, the value of beauty as an apex trait is exposed as a cheap, plastic facsimile.

 


Biography

 

Dina is a photographer and Pop Surrealist with a background in editorial and documentary photography.  For Dina photography is intended not to produce an aesthetic that echoes current beauty standards, but to evoke and wrest feelings of shame, anger, shock and empathy from the observer as to inspire insight into the human condition.  Dina independently produces large-scale tableau photographic series that are philosophical, satirical, technical and visually stunning. Dina's experience as a documentary photographer complements her conceptual series — they inform each other technically and creatively.  From her more candid work,  she has learned that spontaneity and a lack of control are sources of inspiration.  This has inspired trust in her instincts to nurture the most fleeting of concepts. For example, Fallen Princesses series was born in 2007 out of deep personal pain, when she raged against the “happily ever after” motif we are spoon fed since childhood.  The series creates metaphor out of the myths of fairy tales, forcing the viewer to contemplate real life: failed dreams, addiction, obesity, Cancer, the extinction of indigenous culture, pollution, war and the fallacy of chasing eternal youth.  By embracing the textures and colors created by Walt Disney, which built a multi-billion dollar empire exploiting these fairy tales, Fallen Princesses exposes the consumerism that has negated the morality of these ancient parables. It also begs the question, "How do we define the concept of ‘good’? and how do we live a ‘good’ life?”  Dina's second large scale project, In The Dollhouse, 2012 plays out in a 10 part sequential narrative, photographed in a custom built adult sized dollhouse.   This time Dina takes on one of the most powerful symbols of Western culture: Barbie and Ken, the beloved and idealized American couple.  More than any other childhood construct, Barbie represents the concept that `Beauty´ is the apex trait and is necessary to attain power and happiness.  Her co-star Ken, who has been trapped in an imposed marriage for over three decades, discovers his authentic self and finally expresses his individuality.  Barbie´s fate is grim in Goldstein´s hands, as she breaks down and confronts her own value and fleeting relevance.  Gods Of Suburbia,  2014 is Dina Goldstein's current series;  An 11-part conceptual photography initiative analyzing religious faith within the modern context of technology, science and secularism. The project challenges the viewer — religious or secular to embark on a journey of self-reflection as they contemplate the relevance of ancient ethics and morals in a society characterized by materialism and consumerism.  Dina is represented in Canada, U.S., Italy, Holland, The U.K. and France.  Her work is exhibited in galleries and museums internationally.  Dina’s images have been recognized for their metaphorical and ironical messages. Highly controversial, they have create dialogue within social media platforms. The projects has been subject to many written essays, dissertations, and mentioned in various literature. Dina's pieces are studied and taught in art schools, photography programs, gender and feminist ­­­courses.   Dina is often invited to exhibit her work and speak to large groups.  Dina lives in Vancouver with her filmmaker husband, Jonas Quastel, her two young daughters, Jordan and Zoe, and their dog Taco.

 

 

 

Be-pôles, which publishes the collection Portraits de Villes, will offer the winner 2014 carte blanche to photograph the city of her choice. Dina Goldstein choose Vancouver.

 

www.portraitsdevilles.fr

blog.be-poles.com

 

Fallen Princesses

In the Dollhouse